Beijing: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says no “third country” should interfere in the close ties between China and Sri Lanka.
Wang’s remarks after holding talks with Sri Lanka’s top leadership are seen in the context of India’s concerns regarding China’s strategic projects in the Indo-Ocean region.
The Chinese government, who arrived in Colombo after Maldives during a two-day visit, said in a meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa that friendly relations between Beijing and Sri Lanka would lead to progress of both the countries.
“It does not target any third country and no third party should interfere,” Wang was quoted as saying in the report, pointing to India.
China is looking to deepen its ties with Sri Lanka by investing billions of dollars in ports and infrastructure projects.
However, China is facing criticism for accusing such countries of pressing under the burden of debt.
Wang had proposed setting up a forum for the development of the Indo-Ocean island countries during talks with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris, which observers have described as an attempt to expand Beijing’s influence in the region.
“After my visit to several Indian Ocean island countries this time, I feel that all island countries with common development goals have similar experiences and needs and are mutually beneficial,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a release, quoting Wang. We have favorable conditions and full potential to strengthen cooperation.”
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